Let’s rather sue stupid people

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Original Content on 29 Apr 2010 at 11:35
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I find the current criticism against referees in rugby union to be extremely hypocritical.

Mostly because these criticisms are based on the premise that referees go out to cheat a team out of a game or win deliberately.

I cannot claim that every single referee in rugby union is squeaky clean or that no referee ever cheated in the past, but to believe that professional referees in today’s day and age of technology deliberately go out to cheat is frankly absurd.

What irritates me even more is that the people most likely to criticize referees have little to know comprehension or understanding of the laws of rugby union to start off with – just tune into any rugby game (commentators), or any rugby magazine show (specifically the ones supporters phone in), or read so-called experts opinions in newspapers and online publications and you will find that a proper understanding of the laws is something as lacking as consistency in a Blues Super 14 campaign.

Depending on where loyalties lie, commentators or ‘experts’ will quickly highlight indiscretions by referee’s that went against their team in a particular match, but ‘conveniently’ avoid calls that went for them at the expense of the opposition in the same match.

It is quite simple, referees are human beings, and human beings are prone to making errors.

Referee associations or unions go out of their way to equip their members with the right tools (correct application of the laws) – one just has to sit and chat to a guy like Andre Watson or join in on one of their seminars or workshops to realise the amount of work referees go through behind the scenes.

It is also not strange to find a referee officiate in 4 matches, on 4 different continents through 4 different time zones in 4 weeks – yet we never hear them complain about jet-lag, or being tired, or missing home if they slightly lack in proper execution in their duties.

I read with amazement now how Matt Giteau was unlucky to be fined following his outburst on the officiating of Steve Walsh in their recent match against the Waratahs which according to most ‘experts’, might have spelled the end of their campaign in the Super 14.

Another expert believes the Brumbies should even sue (only he knows who) should they not make the play-off’s!

Well firstly has Giteau actually for one second considered that his piss-poor form throughout the whole bloody campaign might have contributed more to the Brumbies’ slump than one questionable decision about a double-movement in a try?

Secondly, has the other ‘expert’ considered for one second on what grounds the Brumbies could sue?

Did WP Rugby sue Sireli Naqelevuki when he gave away a stupid penalty in the dying moments of the Currie Cup semi-final in 2009 apparently costing the franchise or union millions for not making or hosting the final?

Do coaches or teams sue their players they publicly accuse and admit that they lacked proper execution, making stupid, UNFORCED, mistakes which cost them games which effectively could spell the end of their campaign?

Would a player sue a coach for employing the wrong game plan?

Do yourself a favour, in this weekend’s games (and if you have statistics of all the games) count how many unforced, or deliberate errors players make in one game. Add those up and compare them to unforced, or ‘deliberate’ mistakes referees make and tell me who should really sue who for wasting their precious time.

SANZAR referees have made a massive drive this year in publicly standing up and taking action against underperforming referees.

The move was to be commended but I failed to notice any amount of excessive column space or airtime being awarded for this very brave move.

In fact, I believe the referees have actually opened Pandora’s Box here, where whenever a player, coach or some ‘expert’ scream loud enough at some injustice being done against them or their team, it will simply be expected to release or demote one of their referees, rightly or wrongly.

There is no question referees make mistakes, any human being that has to make over 500 decision in 80 minutes will make the odd error – but to blame them of cheating or having some sort of bias towards teams is the worst form of hypocrisy ever imaginable.

I would much rather want to see referees instilling legal action against arrogant rugby players screaming at them or waving arms where they believe something was done against the law, or even better, suing so-called commentators or experts involved in media where they blatantly get the laws wrong proclaiming to millions of viewers or listeners how useless a referee is…


  • Excellent read as always 🙂

  • Comment 1, posted at 29.04.10 11:40:17 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Nice piece…..

    …what experts suggested sueing ❓

    Speaking of people not knowing the laws.

    The last time i went to Twickenham to watch the All Blacks play England. I sat beside two middle aged gentleman wearing flat caps and Barbour Jackets.

    At half time they were standing up and discussing the score on the scoreboard. It read something like

    England 9 All Blacks 6

    ….they then turned to me and asked,….what country are the All Blacks from ?

    PS I didn’t answer and headed for the Lineout Bar

  • Comment 2, posted at 29.04.10 11:48:11 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) :

    JJ Harmse defending Giteau and Keo suggesting the franchise should take legal action.

  • Comment 3, posted at 29.04.10 11:52:46 by Morné Reply
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) : Blackalland ❓ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 29.04.10 11:53:31 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) :

    Glad to see you are referring to them as ‘laws’ today and not ‘rules’ 😈 😆

    Dude, you know I’m just messing with ya hey?? 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 29.04.10 11:53:59 by wpw Reply
  • re : title : lawyers would love it – it would be soooo much work :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 29.04.10 11:55:00 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 4) : 😆

  • Comment 7, posted at 29.04.10 11:57:00 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 5) : 🙄

    Nervous….about McCaw’s 100th Super Match ❓

  • Comment 8, posted at 29.04.10 11:57:57 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : The same keo that rants and raves about stupid people who don’t know the laws?? He is a sensationalist journo.

    Nice piece btw. I really thought the AAC try should have been awarded after watching a very pixelated clip of it, when I managed to find a decent clip and watched it on my big screen I have to give it to Walsh because he made the right decision.

    I find I am biased against Walsh when he missed some very important things in the 2007 S14 final. Yes, I am still bitter.

  • Comment 9, posted at 29.04.10 12:15:28 by lostfish Reply
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  • Good article. I would also like to know who and how they will be able to sue. I do however like the idea of refs also feeling the pressure should they mess up. Fair is Fair. But complaining about a ref could also have a negative effect on a team should the “accused” ref be involved in a future match. Those 50/50 calls might just go against you and there will be nothing you can do about it.

    I wonder how Walsh will react the next time he is involved in a Brumbies match… or will the Brumbies never allow him to be involved?

  • Comment 10, posted at 29.04.10 12:23:06 by Farlington Reply

  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 8) : didn’t you hear they already started baking a cake in Cape 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 29.04.10 12:25:05 by rekinek Reply
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  • @lostfish (Comment 9) : “Yes, I am still bitter” … I wonder if the pain will ever go away??

  • Comment 12, posted at 29.04.10 12:25:56 by Farlington Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 11) :

    I think the Queen is sending a telegram as well ! 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 29.04.10 12:26:47 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 12) : once the Sharks finally win 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 29.04.10 12:29:08 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 14) : That will be bitter sweet, unless it is against the Bulls on a packed Loftus in the last movement of the game.

    Darnit!!!! Should not even have started this, There goes my whole BLOODY DAY!!! So if you will excuse me, I’m off to the Pub to drown my sorrows.

  • Comment 15, posted at 29.04.10 12:35:17 by Farlington Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 11) & @Hertford Highlander (Comment 13) : I’ve been trying to tell people to calm down as well. I’ll be happy if we make the semi’s. Some seem to think winning these things if we make the semi’s will be easy.

    You don’t sommer just play the same way thru semi’s, you need the right mentality as well, something WP hasn’t had in… too long and something the Stormers have never had. The Bulls at least knew how to win the odd CC cup and get into finals regularly before they got the S14.

  • Comment 16, posted at 29.04.10 12:37:59 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 16) : this is very true and Stormers team in many respects is a young one and inexperienced. But nothning wrong with aiming high – except the fall is bit painful (see Farlington 😆

  • Comment 17, posted at 29.04.10 12:44:18 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Farlington (Comment 15) : even if it’s against somebody else – mereckons all the bad things will be forgotten very quickly 😆 😉

  • Comment 18, posted at 29.04.10 12:45:48 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 13) : I have so much respect for McCaw. He is a guy playing for the love of the game. He could be making 4 times what he earns playing in Europe. I don’t know of a single team that wouldn’t bid for his services.

  • Comment 19, posted at 29.04.10 12:46:54 by lostfish Reply
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  • Well put. Just really miffs one as the Brumbies have made such a hoo haa over a questionable decision and now the ref is replaced. This has opened up the system for serious abuse. Can the Sharks now say they will never accept Dickenson again and so on, and so on……………..

  • Comment 20, posted at 29.04.10 12:47:10 by Bayshark Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 18) : You’ve clearly not met my very much Bulls supporting inlaws. 😆

  • Comment 21, posted at 29.04.10 12:57:53 by Farlington Reply

  • @Farlington (Comment 21) : lucky me 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 29.04.10 13:10:54 by rekinek Reply
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  • As an additional comment, this could only come from the Ozzies. As much as I enjoy there commentator’s sometimes humerous comments, I despise their blinkered view to the game. Rod Kafer has got to be the most over rated pratt to ever have access to a microphone. The ONLY commentator who believe Paul Marks’ decision was correct. And I watched all the rugby programs the week following the Waratohs game. The NZ’s, SAFFIEs and Ozzies agreed a KaK call had been made except Kafer, mind you he was a pretty shite player as well!

  • Comment 23, posted at 29.04.10 13:11:48 by Bayshark Reply

  • @rekinek (Comment 17) : Ja, I’ve become the supporter that won’t get their hopes up because I’ve gotten so used to WP/Stormers disappointing me so much, no more so than last year…

  • Comment 24, posted at 29.04.10 13:13:32 by molly Reply
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  • I still say we were robbed. &*^%$# Paul Marks and @#^%&$ Keith Brown. Fire the whole lot.

    And having said that, we had some lucky calls going our way courtesy of The Optometrist.

  • Comment 25, posted at 29.04.10 16:11:51 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 25) : :mrgreen:
    too true – but who would argue with him I ‘m sure his vision is superior to that of others.

    BTW : Isn’t he Opthalmologist ?

  • Comment 26, posted at 29.04.10 16:16:49 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) :

    JJ Harmse defending Giteau?????????????????

    Has anyone started writing the article yet????????????

    We need to get it up ASAP!!!!!!!!!! How much have the Bulls paid for Giteau’s services where is Steyn going?

    This news raises soooooooo many questions.

    Or has JJ maybe bumped his head and written an article supporting someone other than a Bulls player????????

  • Comment 27, posted at 29.04.10 16:21:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @rekinek (Comment 26) : I seriously doubt he is an ophthalmologist… that’s a highly qualified specialisation on top of a regular medical degree. Really don’t think Lawrence has one of those.

  • Comment 28, posted at 29.04.10 16:25:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : this is what one of the commentators was saying during some or other game. but according to his website he is just an optometrist 😐

  • Comment 29, posted at 29.04.10 16:32:46 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 29) : oh yes, but Bladen and co probably don’t realise that there’s any difference and even if they do realise, don’t care to get it right anyway.

  • Comment 30, posted at 29.04.10 16:38:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 27) :

  • Comment 31, posted at 29.04.10 18:19:50 by Morné Reply
  • Good Piece, but I rather like the idea of placing pressure on refs to perform.
    I think the big issue with refereeing this season (and to a lesser extent, last season) has been the fact that we don’t have unbiased refs anymore. If a NZ ref is officiating while the Crusaders are playing the Sharks his independance from the NZ team gets compromised immediately. First of all every decision he makes in favour of the NZ team comes under major scrutiny from fans and critics, whether right or wrong.
    A referee might make a wrong decision, but the moment that referee makes a mistake in favour of his country of origin it automatically gives him a “motive” to “cheat”
    I’d like to see us return to third party refereeing so to speak – it won’t fix the problem of refs making mistakes, but it takes away the intent behind the mistake.

  • Comment 32, posted at 30.04.10 12:22:27 by MB1810 Reply


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